The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) aims to welcome women across all levels of experience in the snowsport and Avalanche Industry

The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) along with supporting partners Rab, Mammut, and the GORE-TEX brand, has launched the second season of AIARE’s Women’s Mentorship Program. The program aims to welcome women across all levels of experience in the industry, build networks, and provide a mentorship framework for participants to replicate in future peer and mentor relationships.

Women make up a disproportionately small number of avalanche educators in the U.S. and many women in the field find it difficult to grow and sustain their careers. The financial, sociological, and other barriers faced by everyone in the industry are often exacerbated for women. And those barriers can be even further amplified for women who are racialized, disabled, trans, mothers, poor/working class, and women who hold other historically marginalized identities.

This season, AIARE aims to connect 40 mentees with 8 mentors who have deep experience in the avalanche industry. AIARE and its partners strive to create a program flexible enough to accommodate a wide variety of women—and lay a strong foundation for a robust mentorship lifecycle for women avalanche educators, from those embarking on their careers to those with decades of experience.

In addition to running the Women’s Mentorship Program and offering women’s affinity courses to train instructors and aspiring avalanche professionals this season, AIARE and its supporting partners will host four public networking events across the country this fall. These events will be facilitated by women in the avalanche industry and are open to anyone interested in learning more, building their network, or taking the next step in their career. 

These events will be hosted in Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, and Jackson Hole. The dates are as follows:

How to Get Started: Avalanche Education

Thursday, 11/3/2022 @ 6 – 7:30 Pacific Time // Location: Virtual or In-person: Bay Area, CA (Sports Basement [Redwood City])

From roadside crags to big lines deep in the mountains, ever-present avalanche dangers require us to be informed when we’re playing in the snow. Thankfully, there are lots of resources out there to expand our knowledge, but which ones are right for you? Come hear from knowledgeable AIARE instructors about how you can get smart about avalanches and the backcountry, along with what courses and other resources are available.

How to Get Started: Professional Work in the Winter Outdoor Industry

Monday, 11/7/2022 @ time TBD // Location: Virtual or In-person: Seattle, WA

Teaching others about avalanche safety and managing folks in avalanche terrain are big responsibilities, and breaking into the industry can be overwhelming. Not only do you need to gain technical experience and knowledge in the field, but there’s a whole world of professional training and workplaces to navigate. Join experienced AIARE instructors to hear about their journeys as well as advice for getting started in the industry.

Deep Dive: Careers in Avalanche Forecasting + Ski Patrolling

Monday, 12/5/2022 @ time TBD // Location: Virtual or In-person: Jackson, WY (Teton Gravity Research)

There are so many different work opportunities in the winter outdoor industry that it can be hard to figure out where to start. Join seasoned AIARE instructors as they take a deep dive into two specific parts of the industry: ski patrolling and avalanche forecasting.

For additional information about the Women’s Mentorship Program or opportunities that AIARE offers to support women’s advancement, visit:

Finding the Balance: Part-Time Work in the Avalanche Industry

Tuesday, 12/13/2022 @ 6-7:30pm Mountain Time // Location: Virtual or In-person: Denver, CO (Rab Denver)

Lots of folks choose a part-time arrangement for their work in the avalanche education industry. For some, it’s a stepping stone towards getting established in a full-time capacity; for others, it’s to offer affinity programs for their communities while maintaining day jobs. The reasons are varied and plentiful, but regardless of why or how people find themselves working part-time in the industry, it can be a difficult and delicate balance to strike. Join AIARE instructors to hear about how they’ve found the balance over the years and what advice they have for those navigating part-time work in avalanche education.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center is hosting CSAW on October 13 and offer both an in-person to attend as well as a virtual opportunity to learn. Learn about topics such as human-triggered avalanches that occurred during low-danger periods, drivers of terrain selection in ski guides, upcoming CAIC program changes, and much, much more! 

For More Information on AIARE Women’s Mentorship head to :

by Noelle Resignolo

photos courtesy of AIARE

Mountain Women Magazine |  A magazine for Women filled with a passion for living life in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and beyond. 

Copyright ©2022 Mountain Women Magazine and MTN Town Media Productions all rights reserved.

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